It’s March Madness time, which means college hoops fans everywhere are filling out brackets in anticipation of one of the most exciting sports tournaments around. Now, there are all sorts of strategies for picking the winning teams — from geography to strength of schedule to the team’s mascot.
For the past few years, Seattle online salary tracker PayScale has employed its own analysis. It chooses the winning team based on the median salaries of graduates of the schools.
Now, given that criteria, it creates all sorts of havoc in the brackets. For example, based on PayScale’s analysis my beloved Ohio State Buckeyes (median salary of $65,800) — the number 2 seed in the East bracket — would fall to Loyola University of Maryland (median salary of $75,700).
Can salaries actually project the winner? Well, in this year’s bracket, PayScale has Harvard (median salary of $110,000) overpowering Duke (median salary of $97,600) in the final game. Stranger things have happened, I guess. But Harvard — a number 12 seed in the tournament — would maybe need a new dose of “Linsanity” to actually make that happen. (It is worth noting that PayScale actually picked the winner in 2010, choosing Duke as the national champion. It missed the mark last year, however, with its choice of Princeton).
Here’s a look at the fifth annual PayScale salary bracket.